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Understanding Health Needs

There is no shortage of available information on the health and care needs of the population in East Lancashire. Much of what we understand is based on the feedback from our GP members who see patients daily and whose understanding of health problems in the area is very strong. 

We use the available information compiled by Public Health professionals, who are based at Lancashire County Council and whose public health information is available to us in the form of a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). Much of this is distilled into “area profiles” and you can find a lot of detailed needs assessment based information here: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancashire-insight/area-profiles/ and about health and wellbeing here: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancashire-insight/health-and-care/

Much of the detailed information from this is available at neighbourhood level and can be found here: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/lancashire-insight/neighbourhood-geographies-dashboard/

The JSNA annual commentary 2017/18 (PDF 1.1 MB) gives an overview of key issues across the county, and includes East Lancashire.

We draw on the area health profile for East Lancashire here: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/898215/east-lancashire-mini-summary-profile-2017-18.pdf

In addition we use the information provided by Public Health England here: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/ and in the atlas of variation here: https://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/atlas-of-variation.

We also draw on the CCG outcomes tool produced by NHS England here: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ccg-out-tool/

The available evidence

We draw on the best available evidence for clinical care and services. Most of this is available from the National Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (NICE)    https://www.evidence.nhs.uk/

We also draw on the work of NHS Right Care. This is a programme of work led by NHS England which uses nationally collected, reliable and robust data, which it makes available to CCGs and health systems to support them to make improvements in patient care.

As most health conditions are linked to factors such as deprivation, lifestyle and age, NHS Right Care provides CCGs and health systems with data to help us manage these conditions, and commission the right care and services.  Deprived populations will have much higher rates of admissions and worse health outcomes for conditions such as Respiratory, CVD, Cancer, Diabetes, etc.  

Clinical knowledge and experience

Our local GPs and other clinicians are experienced and knowledge not only about the health of the populations they see and treat, but also about the best available treatment and care available for the conditions that they see.

Being a GP led organisation, with a Chair and a Medical Director who is a local GP, and with locality lead GPs who are members of the CCG Governing Body.  In addition to this, we have nominated GPs who lead on key areas of work such as cancer, mental health, urgent care and unscheduled care.  As a result, we have readily available access to local clinical knowledge and experience daily. Our GPs help us ensure that we commission services that are not only driven by patient experience and views and the best available evidence, but also are practical and manageable for local doctors and other health professionals.

The final report of the Mid Staffordshire Foundation NHS Trust Inquiry found amongst many things that health and care services could improve their ability to capture and act on “soft intelligence” – the things people say or see about services.  In East Lancashire we set up a system called Connect.  It enables GPs, patients and members of the public to feedback their concerns and views about health services.  We found that patients often told their GP about their concerns or feedback about services but didn’t wish to tell us or share their experiences. So we have enabled our GPs and their teams to use Connect to ensure we hear and learn from these views.  GPs use Connect too.

Since we started we have received over 1281 queries from a number of different sources including but not limited to patients, public, NHS Choices, GPs and providers.

Regular reports of the themes from Connect go to the Pennine Lancashire Quality Committee for assurance and oversight. In this way the views and experiences of patients influence the commissioning and the delivery of health services.

This presentation explains Connect in more detail and showcases three case studies from the data to show how we make improvements as a result of this feedback document here (192 KB) .

Our web page for Connect is here: https://eastlancsccg.nhs.uk/get-involved/connect.  There are a range of ways that patients can get involved. For example people can contact us on our online feedback address - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us on Freephone: 0800 032 2424, telephone: 01772 777952 or textphone: 01772 227005.